Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 film North by Northwest is a classic caper full of incredible coincidences that all lead to Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint dangling off Mount Rushmore's giant George Washington face. The coincidences start at the very beginning. Roger Thornhill (Grant), a New York ad man, tells his assistant to call his mother to remind her they're going to the theater later. He remembers (a moment too late!) that his mother is at her friend's house, and her friend doesn't have a telephone. If it weren't for his mother's friend just having moved into a new apartment, nothing in this movie would have happened.
Because he realizes his secretary won't be able to reach his mother, Roger has to send her a telegram.
He has to send his mother a telegram because how else will she remember about the theater?? He flags down an employee in the hotel restaurant where he's eating a meal — the man he flags is currently calling out the name "Kaplan." Two crooks, whose plan was to have a hotel employee call out George Kaplan's name until George Kaplan responded, waited in the wings to SEIZE the man who "answered to" George Kaplan. They are pretty convinced that their plan was bulletproof, and so they don't believe Thornhill when he says he's not Kaplan. After all, isn't that exactly what Kaplan would say?
Kaplan has loads of secret identities, which means none of the kidnappers doubt for a moment that Roger Thornhill is the man they're after. Uh-oh!
Roger is an extremely competent drunk driver.
Roger happens to get into a three-car pileup with a policecar.
No one believes that Roger was kidnapped. Even Roger's mom wants to believe the worst of her son.
Everyone is so doubtful of Roger that at the scene of the alleged crime they're not even skeptical when there are books in what is clearly a liquor cabinet.
Nobody demands that "Mrs. Townsend" provide ID or proof that her husband is at the United Nations.
Security at the Plaza Hotel is so lax that Roger's mother talks the concierge into giving her a key to George Kaplan's room.
No one at George Kaplan's hotel has ever seen George Kaplan, and no one has raised any red flags about this.
No one notices that Roger is considerably larger than George Kaplan's suits would indicate.
No one notices that Roger gets chased out of the hotel by two men.
The real Mr. Townsend is knifed in the back right before he says whether he recognizes the photo of Mr. Vandamm. Awful timing!
For some reason, nobody in the very crowded room saw that the knife was thrown, and Roger's first instinct is to take the knife out of Townsend's back.
At the train station, the ticket seller just happens to have a photograph of Roger right on his desk, forcing Roger to get on the train without a ticket — a fugitive from both the law and common decency.
Eve Kendall (Saint) times bumping into Roger perfectly and saves him from capture by the police.
EXCELLENT TIMING, EVE.
Because Eve propositions Roger for sex, Roger doesn't question her motivation at all.
Nobody recognizes Roger because he's wearing sunglasses.
The police searching the train don't check the giant bed compartments in which a grown-ass man could easily fit.
Come on, cops.
Nobody recognizes Roger because he's wearing a porter's uniform.
Nobody recognizes Roger because he's shaving.
At a bus stop in the middle of nowhere, Roger is a natural at dropping to the ground really fast, and he manages to not get hit by either a plane or a truck.
Although the plane waited for five vehicles to pass before going after Roger and paused the attack for a sixth, the pilot doesn't see this gas tank and the plane crashes right into it.
When Roger goes to Kaplan's hotel, the concierge happens to mention the time Kaplan checked out — before Eve even made the phone call that morning.
Roger turns around and sees Eve in the lobby. She's staying in the very hotel he's currently standing in!
Luckily, Eve has a very strong arm and the address of the secret location she wrote down is indented on the next sheet of hotel notepaper, so Roger can follow her.
At an art auction, Mr. Vandamm says he thinks Roger was trained by the FBI, and Roger finally starts to put things together.
Eve, although in every other regard a stone-faced liar, can't contain her emotions about Roger.
The police in Chicago don't recognize Roger, giving the Professor enough time to make a phone call on his behalf.
When the FBI-approved Professor (Leo G. Carroll) shows up, Roger trusts him even though the Professor doesn't proposition him for sex.
Roger and the Professor devise a plan where Eve shoots Roger with blanks so Mr. Vandamm will trust her again. Luckily, no one in the very crowded room notices he's actually unharmed!
Roger, because he's a trusting guy, never suspected that Eve wanted to maintain her cover so that she could stay undercover.
Although Roger's locked in his hospital room faking dire injury, no one thinks to lock his window. Luckily, the ledge is as wide as a sidewalk and Roger easily escapes.
Coincidentally, Roger is watching from outside right when Leonard reveals that Eve must be a spy because, coincidentally, Eve didn't unload the blanks from her gun!
Roger happens to have a matchbook with his initials on it — initials which he (luckily!) discussed on the train with Eve. He's able to get a message to her!
No one sees Roger lurking around upstairs for minutes on end, but then the maid happens to spot his reflection in the television!
Roger escapes from the maid unharmed because Eve didn't unload the blanks! The getaway car is just outside!
Hotly pursued, Eve and Roger end up dangling from the face of Mount Rushmore, where Roger catches Eve's hand just in time!
Also, the police coincidentally shoot Leonard just before Roger falls with Eve.
Good timing, boys.